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American actor Matt Dillon has joined the competition jury of the 77th Venice International Film Festival, replacing Romanian director Cristi Puiu, who had originally planned to participate.
Dillon joins president Cate Blanchett in a seven-person jury that also includes French actress Ludvine Sagnier (8 Women), British director Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), German filmmaker Christian Petzold (Undine), Austrian director Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and Italian writer Nicola Lagioia. They are charged with picking this year’s Golden Lion and other winners from the 2020 Venice competition lineup.
The Venice festival did not give a reason for Puiu’s departure except to say he was unable to honor his commitment to serve due to “unexpected difficulties.”
Dillon, a 40-year screen veteran, had his breakthrough performance in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 gang drama The Outsiders, but he is perhaps best known for on-screen roles in Gus van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy (1989), the Farrelly brothers comedy There’s Something About Mary (1998) and Paul Haggis’ Crash (2004). The latter earned Dillon his first Oscar nomination in the best supporting actor category.
More recently, Dillon starred in Lars von Trier’s controversial serial killer drama The House That Jack Built (2018). Dillon stepped behind the camera in 2002 for his directorial debut City of Ghosts. He recently wrapped his second film as a director, the documentary The Great Fellove, about Cuban soul singer El Gran Fellove, which will have its world premiere at Spain’s San Sebastian film festival this year.
The 77th Venice International Film Festival runs Sept. 2-12.
Venice will be the first major European festival to hold a physical event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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